Yours truly, my mom, and my sister Chelsea
On Saturday I got to experience my first 5k for a wonderful cause. OutRUN 38 works to encourage a fit, healthy lifestyle while also bringing awareness to the fight against cystic fibrosis and raising funds for a cure. The OutRUN 38 community is also a resource for CF sufferers looking for a supportive community and a place of hope. The hope comes in the form of Liz Shuman, whose incredible triumphs over the disease inspired the OutRUN 38 movement.
Chelsea and Liz Shuman
OutRUN 38 was started by Liz’s childhood friend, Nicole Burke, who was inspired to begin her own life-changing journey of getting healthier after witnessing Liz’s endurance. Despite the severity of CF’s impact on her lungs, Liz is an avid runner and she cites it as one of the reasons she’s been able to live healthy with cystic fibrosis. When Nicole took up running as well, she began the OutRUN the Odds Facebook group as a way for other runners to connect under their mutual admiration for Liz and the inspiration she’s given them. The group became a movement in no time, and now thousands of people across the country are getting active – walking, running, swimming, and biking – and logging their miles in support of Liz. The goal is to reach 3800 miles to commemorate Liz’s upcoming 38th birthday. When she was first diagnosed at 7 years-old, Liz’s life expectancy was only the age of 12; when Nicole began OutRUN 38 the life expectancy for a CF patient was 37 (now it’s 40 – a sign of the strides being made in the fight against the disease). As Liz turns 38 this year, she’s proving that CF patients really can OutRUN the Odds.
Nicole describes the OutRUN 38 movement as “a super positive community of new and experienced athletes supporting each other in fitness and health”. That so accurately describes the experience of an OutRUN event: everyone was energized, enthusiastic, and very welcoming. Volunteers took up places along the course to cheer on both runners and walkers, everyone who showed up to get some exercise, have a little fun, and ultimately raise awareness for this cause. Fellow runners were clapping and yelling encouragements to one another as well, and there was no end to the diversity of the participants: athletes new and experiences, people young and old. One amazing man ran the course at 85 years old. (There was even a little fun run for the kiddies which was the sweetest thing.) No one minded the rain; everyone was just thrilled to be there having fun and sharing in Liz’s genuinely positive spirit. It was a wonderful way to spend a bit of the weekend, and we all left feeling inspired and hopeful for a future without CF.
Connect with OutRUN 38
The event was presented with the help of Vertex and other sponsors, all of which you can see here.